All that walking made you hungry? So now you are almost at the top, still on Rue Norvins, behind Sacre Coeur. To your left is a restaurant with a large sign that says La Bonne Franquette. Isabelle took me inside this utterly charming and utterly Parisian restaurant which has its motto etched at the front door; Love, Eat, Drink and Sing. This motto not only sums up the spirit of the place but also the spirit of Montmartre. The father and son proprietor duo Patrick and Luc Fracheboud love India, so you will get a happy welcome. Even a glass of red wine, as I very kindly was offered.
Talking about wines, do you know that Montmartre has its very own vineyard? Here’s how you get there. At La Bonne Franquette, go downhill on Rue des Saules. To your left is a pink-coloured heritage house called, (what else), La Maison Rose. Ten steps ahead to your right, you will be amazed to see a small but still productive vineyard. Clos Montmartre produced its first wine in 1934. It was commissioned by legendary Parisian actress Mistinguett who was at one time the best paid female entertainer in the world! Not Edith Piaf as one would imagine.
What would Paris be without its numerous museums? There’s one here too. Walk back to the Maison Rose and turn left onto Rue Cortot. At No 12 stands the oldest house in Montmartre, constructed mid 17th century, restored in 1959, now the Montmartre Museum. Inside, a garden embraces two buildings where artists like Renoir and Suzanne Valadon had their studios. All their memorabilia is on view. It’s like stepping inside a time warp.